Wow! What a Prize Prime Bow!

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Wow! I can’t believe it! I was honored to win first place in the video contest hosted by Become1 in Montana in September. It was a wonderful week of hunting antelope and whitetail with my son, James. It was also the Hunt/Film/Compete Event hosted by Film the Hunt at Powder River Outfitters. The first place prize was a brand new beautiful Prime Centergy Bow!

My previous bow was many years old but still effective and accurate. I was still shooting aluminum arrows, which just made James laugh and shake his head. He claims that when I shoot at any longer distance, the arrow coming into the target is like a descending howitzer!

Right after I received the new Prime bow, I purchased some accessories needed to prepare the bow for use. These arrived yesterday.

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I took the new bow to Archery Addictions to get it all set up. Tom was incredibly helpful and a really great guy to talk with about archery, hunting, and even ice fishing. He helped me select an appropriate 5-pin sight and other accessories to complete the setup.

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I had some idea in mind about the arrows I wanted based mostly on a recommendation from my son, who is a dedicated archery hunter. He knows a lot and depends on exhaustive research and practical use of products. Tom confirmed the recommendation strongly when I said I wanted to use the Easton Axis arrows. We completed the transaction and I went out the door with my new bow fully equipped and even in a very nice protective case made by Tenzing.

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I am now waiting for the arrow inserts to dry and will finish sighting in the bow later today. To say I am excited about this new Prime Bow is the understatement of the day!

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I Think I am Archery Addicted!

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A few weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to attend Become 1’s Hunt/Learn/Compete Event in Montana. I was there with my son, James, and we had a great time together. It was a quality father/son experience and we learned a lot!

Each morning after breakfast would find us in an antelope blind sitting there with our bows. We also interspersed the long sits with some stalking. James connected on a nice buck on our fourth day.

Each evening found us in a whitetail blind or tree stand. And boy did we see deer! We were told we would see lots of animals last year when we first heard about this hunt. However, until we experienced it firsthand, we had no idea how accurate this report was in truth.

Spending five days hunting with my bow was exhilarating! I think I am now archery addicted!

The archery season for whitetails here in Pennsylvania is in full swing and I am getting out when I have the time. I will be out there again on Thursday and I cannot wait! Yep, I am archery addicted!

Winner of Become1 Hunt/Learn/Compete Event

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I am extremely honored to be the winner of this year’s Become1 Hunt/Learn/Compete Event, which was held in Broadus, Montana at Powder River Outfitters. It was an awesome experience hunting there with my son, James! We literally saw over hundreds of animals every single day for five days! Our guide, Ron, put us in the right place and was lots of fun to be with during the week.

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As always, I learned a ton about filming from Become1 and I cannot say enough about what Tom Petry and Nick Ventura do with their students. I attended their Field Production School about 1 1/2 years ago. That launched me into filming and producing my web show: “No Place Like the Mountains.” It will be in its second season later this year and include lots of footage from this hunting trip in Montana. Tom and Nick are not just great instructors, they are great guys to be around!

As the winner of this event, I will be receiving the new Prime Centergy bow. My current bow is many, many years old and I am actually still shooting aluminum arrows, which has my son just shaking his head. So, this winner’s package will be put to good use.  Thank you, Become1, Tom, & Nick, I really appreciate this awesome prize!

I cannot wait to film the next hunt! I cannot wait to head out west again! I also cannot wait to hunt with my son again!

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Stoked to be part of The Graduates Team

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Extremely stoked to be part of Film the Hunt’s Graduates Team! I attended the 4-day Outdoor Video Production School last June and learned a ton of information about how to properly and effectively film hunts. It was an incredible four days with great instruction and the opportunity to meet some amazing and incredible people.

The Graduates is a team of cinematographers and field producers who received proper training and are now available to film hunts. Some of their work is featured in the weekly show The Life, which is airing on The Sportsman Channel on Monday nights and several additional times throughout the week. Check it out because the show is very good!

Telling a visual story of each hunt is what it is all about. I look forward to filming and producing hunts as one of The Graduates. I am stoked!

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My Microphones for Video Production

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Tom Petry, in his 4-day Video Production School, says, “80% of good video is great audio.” He is absolutely right, too. This quote stuck with me and I certainly do not regret investing in good, quality audio gear.

I am fortunate to have many friends and contacts who are directly involved in sound production. I like to say I know enough to be dangerous, but having expert contacts in the audio field who know all about gear and making quality sound productions is a definite advantage. I know, for example, that the Sennheiser G3 wireless microphones are top notch. They transmit great audio and they are reliable. I also know the Shure SM58 mics are the industry standard among both musicians and public speakers. So when it came time for me to purchase great audio equipment I already had ideas for my wish list.

Here is a brief overview and timeline on how I acquired my audio gear for Outdoor Cameraman and my web show, No Place Like the Mountains. When I purchased my Sony NX3 video camera I knew I wanted great audio equipment to accompany it. I purchased a Rode shotgun mic and the Sennheiser G3 wirless mic right away. Then, just before producing No Place Like the Mountain episodes, I purchased the Shure SM58 mic for voice overs. Then when I wanted to do interviews, I bought the Sennheiser G3 wireless handheld mic, which uses the receiver from my previously purchased lavalier mic. This saved me some money but also complimented the great mic I already was using for my video productions.

Yes, this audio equipment is quite expensive but I am big believer in “you get what you pay for.” I do not regret one of these audio purchases and I am getting great results so far. It is very handy to have the versatility of a shotgun mic for ambient sounds, a lavalier mic for hunter talk and emotion, and the handheld mic for interviews. There are times, like when filming two hunters, that I wish it was easier to use two lavalier mics with the shotgun mic, but so far my current combination is producing excellent results.

My microphones are very necessary and wonderful tools to producing videos. Great audio is not a luxury, it is a necessity!

Thank you: The Life Outdoor Video School

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Thank you to The Life Outdoor Video School! I attended their 4-day Field Production Outdoor Video Course last April and I learned a ton! It was the best four days I could have imagined, too. I met some great people who, like me, hope to work in the hunting industry. We learned how to use our cameras and properly film a hunt from start to finish. Along the way, we had many opportunities to put our learning into practical use.

I created a short film at the Video School and it includes some of the techniques we learned there from Tom and Nick. You can view the short video here:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BGpOua2GDrs/

I highly recommend this Video School to anyone who wants to learn how to film hunts. You will learn a lot and meet some incredible people. I cannot say enough about these guys. There are just incredible. Check out their TV show, which airs on Monday nights on The Sportsman Channel.

My web show, There’s No Place Like the Mountains, features short hunting and wildlife films that were inspired by attending this video school. It is a dream that developed over this past year. Without all the information I learned last April at the Video School, this dream would still be wishful thinking. Thanks, guys, I am continuing to learn how to tell a story with film and I am loving each and every frame!

 

Going Light

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This past hunting season was my first attempt at filming the hunt. I attended The Life’s Outdoor Video School back in May of last year and I learned a lot. Taking my equipment out in bear and deer seasons this fall taught me a lot, too.

I did follow a recommendation from the Outdoor Video School just before hunting season, and that was to purchase a Badlands Camera Pro backpack. This pack is specially designed to carry all the camera equipment needed to adequately and successfully film a hunt. The number of pockets and inner pockets are amazing! There is a place to store my main video camera and a DSLR in the main compartment. The design of the backpack is excellent and comfortable with a fully adjustable harness.

My main problem occurred out on the first day of hunting season–I packed way too heavy! We typically hunt more than 2.5 miles from my cabin, so this means a minimum round trip of at least 5 miles. It is where the deer are and we have been successful at bagging bucks over the past decade, but carrying a lot of equipment is not advisable. By the end of that first day I was completely worn out!

My tripod is one that I use for photography but it is not designed for backpacking. The Manfrotto video head is likewise heavy and not easy to pack and carry. Almost as soon as I got home, I ordered two different items: a new Gitzo lightweight tripod and a different, lighter Manfrotto video head. In this one purchase, I cut the weight on these items in half, which will make my pack much more manageable.

Before this purchase, I experimented with some different options, none of which suited me. I like the stability of a tripod rather than a monopod for filming. My goal was to shave weight, be stable, and be portable enough to carry the gear while filming a still hunt. I believe I now have a much better and more efficient system to do this.

I will still use my Muddy camera arm whenever I am up in tree stand, but this new tripod and video head will accompany me on all other hunts, including still hunts and when hunting from a blind or on stand. I can attach my GoPro to the end of one tripod leg to allow from some self-filming, too.

I am learning the important lesson of going light when filming.